Driverless Cars MOTS Collage

From left to right: Daniela Caicedo, Shama Khan, Robert Hellem, Jake Jones and Emi McCollum.

The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant to the University of Georgia College of Engineering to develop systems that help driverless cars safely travel on roads. The researchers will try to use machine learning to teach the cars how to account for human drivers who may make illogical decisions while driving. Because of the new grant, The Red & Black decided to ask UGA students how they feel about self-driving cars.

Daniela Caicedo is a junior biology major.

“I think [driverless cars] would be good because … as you get older, you don’t have your attention or reflexes as sharp as younger people. So that actually helps [older people] be in the lane and hit the brakes if they have to … But, for younger people, it makes us lazy … Because if [we] learn to drive on those cars, we’re not going to learn the proper way.”

Shama Khan is a freshman health promotion major.

“[Driverless cars] definitely could be a good thing if executed properly. Machines definitely have faster reaction times than we do, and there’s a lot of stuff that they can sense a lot faster and a lot better than we can, but that’s only on the condition that it’s executed properly.”

Robert Hellem is a junior marketing major.

“I personally like being in control of my own car … I feel like [driverless cars] could be safer. They definitely could be used in a good way … But with how much my own computer messes up, I’d be afraid if I was behind the wheel of a computer driving for me.”

Jake Jones is a junior mechanical engineering major.

“[Driverless cars] could be a good thing as long as they are researched enough, and they’re tested enough so we know they’re safe. I think they could definitely cut down on accidents. If you have a bad driver, put him in a car that drives itself, then obviously they’re not behind the wheel. That could help keep them from crashing.”

Emi McCollum is a freshman intended entertainment and media studies major.

“[Driverless cars] are good for a backup. If a driver isn’t paying attention, and then the car [with sensors that can stop the vehicle] can take over … If [the technology] is advanced enough to be really able to drive well, then I think it’s fine.”

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